Real Housewives of New Jersey 3.13 – Child’s Play No More

“You are the worst, and your hat is stupid, and I don’t know why I haven’t kicked you out of my house yet!

It’s finally here, the episode when Ashley gets a group dressing down. Except instead of leaving me satisfied, I just felt sad for both sets of parents. Before we get to that, there are other rotten kids to discuss (but their behavior is a direct result of their parents.) Teresa has a photo shoot! 

Teresa tells the camera that life is about three things: good food, good sex (bleurgh, with Juicy?) and friends and family. Notice the qualifier “good” wasn’t used in relation to family. This get together with her parents and in laws with all the girls decked out and a massive spread of food is for her cookbook. The kids are whining, they don’t want to cooperate, and even Juicy is bitching for this to wrap up. Fun!

The crew looks as if they’d like to electrocute themselves. Milania, the holy terror, starts brandishing knives and when her eyes roll back and smoke starts to pour out of her hollowed eye sockets, the photographer says nervously to his PA, “That’s insane, we have to shut it down.” He tells the girls with a smile to “rest a bit.” The PA rushes off to find an exorcist.

An hour later everyone is in a new wardrobe but no priest could be found, so Milania starts babbling in four languages at once, the baby lifts her shirt to show that “HELP ME” is being written from the inside of her body, and Gia does her best Ashley impression by hating everything and everyone and just wanting to be left alone to do what she wants to do.

The photographers flirt with death by saying, “Thank you Gia, I know that was a challenge for you!” when they wrap her part up. Don’t be surprised, photographers, when you wake up in a cold sweat to see the bug-eyed Milania sitting in the corner, your parents’ hands in her mouth, their blood dripping onto her white tulle dress.

At the complete opposite end of the child spectrum, Kathy and Rich are discussing their increasingly woman-like daughter, Victoria, and how at almost 17 it’s time for “The Talk.” And this confused me for a second, because they can’t mean “THE talk,” as in, “when a man and a woman – or two women, or two men… Consenting adults. When two consenting adults love each other very much…” Because that shit should have been discussed way before 16-17 years old. For Pete’s sake, they learn about the whole flap A into slot B back in 5th grade!

Is this just me? I’ve been upfront with sex (not like, “Here’s something fun called Reverse Cowgirl,” but the whole “this is what that part on your body will be for, and babies come from blah blah,”) while my kids were growing up. So how the hell did Kathy explain Victoria’s period to her? A curse from God because of Eve eating an apple? And those bumps on her chest are her dirty pillows, so get in the prayer closet, Carrie? Look, I’m just saying that if Victoria starts making things move with her mind, you waited too long.

Rich is completely against any knowledge, because if you tell kids about sex, they’ll immediately understand that you’ve just given them the green light. As Elaine Boozler once said (Yeah, I just pulled out an Elaine Boozler joke) “That’s ridiculous, I learned Algebra and I never do math.” That’s a good example of why you don’t see Elaine Boozler on the comedy circuit, by the way.

I think Kathy has the right idea, make her aware of what messages you can send with your behavior, your decorum, and then remind her that her dad is a crazy person and will Bruce Lee any boy’s heart out of his chest if they mistreat his princess.

Christuhphuh Manzo is bartending in Hoboken because he’s a Manzo and they have to be working at all times. This is how you do work ethnic, people. The family (Chris, Jacqueline and, Wahshley, Albie, Greg and Lauren) show up to tease him and hopefully leave him big tips. Ashely tries to turn all conversations back to her and how awesome she is for being out of the house and not at a party. Lauren says out loud, “You’re like me when I was 20. Lazy, no ambition.” Aha ha. Also, I have a hard time believing any Manzo could ever be lazy.

Jacqueline and Chris go outside to meet a surprise: Matt and Jodi, Ashely’s father and step-mother from Texas. One, Matt is freaking massive and looks like a professional hit man (even though he’s a very sweet man), two, Jodi is so typically Texan Trophy wife, it’s not even funny (which means I’m automatically in love with her, can’t help my genes) and three, Matt has a scary scar on the back of his head, from ear to ear. Yikes.

Not yikes: they all get along, which is crazy for step families! It’s lovely, but still: uncommon. I have a theory on why this is: Jacqueline and Matt divorced when they were very young, divorced and then they both met people that were better suited for, and then they all became successful. There’s no competition, both parties are happy, why be bitter or ugly? Love it.

Matt slips in unnoticed by Ashely and surprises her, she bursts into tears. Aww, she’s not a complete psychopath! (Maybe.) Even Lauren is choked up. Greg just thinks Jodi is a babe and ditto on Matt. I love Greg. But it’s not all sunshine and kittens, Matt tells Ashley that Chris has been keeping him up to date on things, and he is not pleased with Ashley’s behavior. “You have some explaining to do.” UH OH, it’s coming…

(OH! And we learn in an aside that Ashely left the Brownstone on NYE with her friend driving her brand new Jeep,courtesy of step-dad Chris, and said friend rolled the car in a ditch. I hate this kid.)

Jesus Spice has her Gorgon sisters over to catch them up on the play date with Teresa last week. Wah, wah, bitch moan, and the Gorgon sisters change topics. “So a cousin called us and said they went to a medium. The medium asked if they knew anyone with the letter A in their name, or maybe an E? A, E or possibly an O? Did they know anyone with troubles that had a vowel in their name? Someone maybe alive, or probably not alive, or….? And the cousin said, ‘Oh my god, you mean my great-uncle Anthony, twice removed and who died in a month that had an E in it!’ And the medium said, ‘Yes, that is exactly who and what I meant, and he’s here right now and says something about keeping on with a… dream?’ And the cousin said, ‘CLEARLY THIS IS A DIRECT MESSAGE TO OUR THIRD COUSIN TWICE REMOVED MELISSA AND HER BURGEONING MUSIC CAREER.’”

Melissa starts shaking and crying. “Papi, I am living the dream, I promise! I’m going to put myself on display on display on display, each and every day every day every day! Thank you Jesus, thank you Soul Diggaz, and thank you Median.” See, she normally doesn’t believe in medians, but this one she does. From now on she’ll obey the rules of the road, too, those concrete barriers do stand for something, hallelujah!

Caroline cleans out her closet from her overweight days with Lauren’s help. A lot of the clothes haven’t even been worn. Some charity is going to be super happy to get them. (And a little thought for you: look into donating clothes to women’s shelters, it helps them on job interviews as they look for a new life away from abusive husbands/partners. They need kids clothes, too. Sorry, end of my PSA.)

Lauren starts in on how diets don’t work for her (she’s not exercising, a key component to weight loss) and how even if she did lose weight, she’s still not going to like herself. Mama Caroline starts crying, because no mother wants to hear their daughter talk ugly about themselves! She gives Lauren good advice, and to stop hating herself because Caroline loves her.

Speaking of awesome moms, Jacqueline tells the camera that while she’s glad Matt and Jodi are here because Ashely listens to them, she wishes that she got the respect Matt does. After all, she’s been paying her dues from day one. She talks to Ashley about her life plans (as Jacqueline does all the kitchen clean up and Ashley sits on her ass holding the dog captive.) School? A job? Getting the hell out of her house? Ashley eye rolls, tsks, and says, “Duh, I’m going to California and I’m researching it now, lay off!” and goes back to playing Angry Birds.

Jacqueline reminds her that she lives in her parents house for free, doesn’t really work or contribute or anything, so how the hell is she going to pay to live in California? Ashely just hears wind whistling, she doesn’t register any of the sounds as talking. Wahshley tells the camera that she is so not her mom (we know) and is totally, like, capable of doing things on her own. Like, she can put on makeup on her own, she can get money from her mom’s purse on her own, she’s super, like, independent.

She mumbles in her mom’s earshot that she “just wants to be away from toxic people.” Jacqueline stops cold. “What?” Oh, Ashley, you can’t be away from yourself, sillikins.

Kathy and Victoria go prom dress shopping, and Kathy, because she’s a super good mom with a super good kid, uses the dress choices as a way to talk about the image you present with the outfits you wear (a Lindsey Lohan versus a Lauren Bush, for example. Oh, she was the responsible Bush twin, not the party-girl.)

Victoria tries to sneak in a “well, I was invited to go on a party bus” which Kathy shuts down. GOOD MOM. Look, I was a teenager. Party buses are where you get shit-faced, have fourteen fights with your best girl friends, someone throws up on someone else, and a few couples bone in the back seat. That might be how Ashley partied at 17, but that’s not Victoria.

Kathy also assures Victoria that she’s confident that her little girl will make good decisions. But good decisions don’t protect you from the nefarious intentions of others, so be aware. Smart mama, Kathy, smart mama. Sorry, Rich! I love the Lebanese Jeff Goldblum, but kids need to be armed with information so they can make smart choices in life.

Jesus Spice finally gets her moment in the studio back at Casa Gorga. The Soul Diggaz (ha ha) show up to lay down some tracks. They have to walk her through the whole process (which makes sense, she’s never done this before) and… it’s rough. That first take? Eesh. I usually watch the show with Closed Captioning on to make sure I get the right spelling on names and so forth, and I swear the CC had  [? off-key].  Bless.

Joe tells her “I wanna be turned on, come on!” The Soul Diggaz tell her that time is money. She breathes deep and busts out the song, and is noticeably better. The Diggaz breathe a sigh of relief and she thanks Jesus, twice. They thank Joe. Ha! Don’t thank him until the check clears.

Caroline takes her kids, Greg (who is practically one of her kids) and Jacqueline to a kick boxing class to help Lauren with her New Year’s Resolution to get healthy. Albie busts out some diamond push-ups and I’m not going to lie to you, that was hot. Albie? Delicious.

Caroline is hilariously awful and uninterested in kick boxing, but Jacqueline is quite the mofo on the floor. Lauren keeps insisting that she can see Greg’s balls. Greg, you’re not wearing boxer briefs? Maybe next time you put on some manpris. Even the dudes from Jersey Shore know how to wear manpris to work out. Producers? Maybe show us some more push ups from Albie next time.

Jacqueline, Chris, Matt and Jodie are out at brunch waiting for Ashley to grace them with her presence. They’re going to have an intervention to stop her down this path of being a fucking loser piece of shit. [Was that harsh? Sorry.] Matt says that she has no balance. If she was working hard towards something, he wouldn’t mind her going out and tearing it up every now and then. Chris says that Friday and Saturday are your nights to go out, you get your ass back to work on Monday. I absolutely love Chris Laurita, the man has the patience of a saint.

Matt says he got a text from Ashley the other day, “I’m going to Cali. U gonna $ for it or not?” and that pissed him off royally. He lets the whole world know that she went to community college last year and failed all of her classes. So she’s actually a dumb bitch. They have the transcripts to prove it.

Wahshley saunters in thirty minutes late and is made to sit in the middle. She blames being lost as to the reason she’s late and says, “Next Christmas I want a Tom Tom.” Fuck you, Ashley, you whiny, demanding brat. Chris Laurita, who has every right to kick her to the curb, blinks, sighs and says, “I have one at home.” Ashely demands, “Can I have it?” He relents, if only to get this intervention on the road.

Jacqueline smiles at her daughter and asks her what her plans are.

“Well, you know how I love make up, so like, I thought like I could become a make up artists and stuff, so like, I’ll go to beauty school or whatever? And I’m going to do that in LA, because that would be kick ass like, to live there? And I can say one day, “Remember when, like, I was in LA lol?”

Chris runs that through a translator app and then asks her about money. “Like, I have like money for a place and all, but like, I’ll need money for school, so….” And then she texts everyone she ever knew that she’s doing, like, nothing, and what’s going on tonight?

Chris sucks his teeth and tells her that yeeeaaah, she doesn’t have enough money for a place, and since she’s living for free right now, she should just get a proper job, save that money, and work towards LA as a goal. Like normal, thinking people do. When Ashley looks like she’s going to remind them that yuh huh, she does too have a proper job, Chris reminds her that nuh uh, she does not work. She is never on time, or she doesn’t show up, or hey, it’s an internship and you don’t get paid.

Matt jumps in and pats her hand, reminding her that they all love her, and they just want her to set some goals. But they need to be realistic goals (translation: you failed out of community college, don’t tell us you’re going to be a brain surgeon) and that the parents are all tired of throwing money away. Jodi puts in that she needs to realize they’re all here because they love her and want her to succeed. (Matt and Jodi are good people.)

When Jacqueline reminds her that she couldn’t even follow through on a t-shirt design, Ashely tells the camera how awful everyone is, and how she is soooooo sick of this and them not realizing how, like, grownup and responsible she is, I mean you guys? She had a job, and that wasn’t good enough for them, and like, she had to work (and I’m not making this up) from ten in the morning until two in the afternoon, like three time a week! So what, that’s nothing? OMG, so unfair.

Chris continues to be the nicest step-dad ever by insisting that if she’ll just come up with a plan, he will fund it. He wants her to succeed. Matt tells her to just act like she gives a shit (I love this guy!) Chris finally puts it out there: “I personally have a problem with you. How you treat your mother is a problem. I still give to you, and I still get criticized.”

Jacqueline puts in her two cents, finally (keep in mind that it’s been the dads up until this point.) “I feel like you don’t respect me as a person. Like, I’m a loser.”

And this is when any sympathy you may have had for Ashley (and why would you??) is going to disappear. She fixes her mom with her most condescending smirk and says, “Hey, I’m twenty and not pregnant, ahem.” (Because, you see, Jacqueline had the audacity to get pregnant by Matt when she was 20, marry him, and choose to not abort her. And Ashley even says at one point to the camera that when her mom chose to not abort/give her away for adoption, she chose to take on the responsibility of raising a hell beast.)

Jodi looks embarrassed for Ashley and says, “Oh my gosh…”

Jacqueline tells her that she is selfish, she won’t even help watch her little brothers for an hour, to which Ashley counters, “I’m not a babysitter!” CHILD. You are living FOR FREE, my god, watch the kids play Xbox so your mom can run to the store! Jesus Christ, this girl!

Jacqueline starts scooting out of the booth, tells everyone that Ashley is the most selfish, disrespectful brat she’s ever known in life, and if that’s the contempt her daughter has for her, she is not welcome in her house. She wants Ashley GONE. “Get out of my house!” Jacqueline races off to get control of herself.

And this is why I love the Jersey Housewives, you guys. This shit is real, this is how people are living, dealing with their entitled, bratty kids, and that can’t be easy to know this is all over the nation, how horrible your daughter is. But Jacqueline and Chris are trying, they’re not raising a brat on purpose, Ashley is just awful.

Chris gets on to Ashley, who counters with her mom being crazy. How he didn’t slap her face is beyond me. He tells her how much her mom sacrificed to have her (which she holds in contempt, I guess? So your mom was stupid for being responsible at 20? Which means you think she was stupid for having you? Well, I can’t argue with that logic, actually.)

Chris tells Ashley that Jacqueline thinks she hates her, to which Ashley just rolls her eyes and says, “Whatever.” Matt tells her that she needs to learn when to shut the hell up.

Jacqueline has holed herself up in a dark corner in the back of the restaurant and is sobbing her heart out. I was choked up watching, she is so broken and upset over her selfish child. Poor Jacqueline! She’s my favorite of all housewives on all the shows, seriously. Don’t you just want to hang with her? And spit in Ashley’s drink when no one’s looking? (Just me?) Bless her heart, she has the best of intentions for her kid, her kid is just damaged goods.

Chris comes over to calm her down, and she tells her husband that she’s done. Chris is, too. He says, “Let Matt handle it.” It’s about time.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK! (omg, I cannot wait.)